Adventures in a Mexican Orphanage: Day 3

Day 3: Saturday, June 27
between a hard rock and a broken tent zipper letting in a draft, ridiculously early

I stayed in the tent til I could no longer stand the rooster. It was around 7:15am. Breakfast was ultra fabulous...life can't get much better then chocolate chip pancakes in Mexico. We played with the kids for a bit, then headed out to the school. We had invited the community to a "sports day", where we would teach play together. I'm sure this occurred,everyone the rules of the games, and however, I was occupied elsewhere. Marianne Burton, who is actually in my home stake, was in charge of all the painting, and put me in charge of painting a mural on the side of one of the buildings. Adam, a gal named Christine, and I organized some ideas, and then I sketched it out on the wall. We wanted some kind of fantastical scene with elements that would resemble fun things, but that would prompt imaginative thinking on the kids part.

After scavenging for paint, some old cans were found. Between Adam and his pocketknife threatening the paint cans, the lids were finally pried off. The painting began. Through our morning of work, the sun eventually peered upon our work, making the process a very bright, hot, and sticky job. Eventually, though, we reached an acceptable stopping point in the mural. I put the finishing touch on it: the signature of "Kaiizen", which filled me with great satisfaction.

By the time we were done, everyone at the orphanage had finished their tamales. It was my first tamale ever, and was delicious. When we finished, the kids were outside making ice cream. I got there around the tail end of that, but was asked to get the sprinkles and chocolate, which I did. Upon bringing it out, I was promptly mobbed by about 8 kids, all wanting the goods. One little guy came back for more...three times. I think that there was more chocolate than ice cream in his little bag. Which was perfectly fine.Eventually, the time came to say good-bye to the kids. I was excited to see Dana again, and got my wish. I played with her for a good while, and also with another girl. I stayed mostly with the little'uns and it was so great to see all these sweet children running around playing with the volunteers. This is Cammie Brimhall, with whom I went to high school. Her little friend was kind of shy and really adorable! It was fun to see them interact. Melisa: this little gal was adorable! She was sitting with Dana the first time I met the kids the day before. She has an amazing smile. This is Robert Dixon, and I don't know the little dude's name. It was funny; when Cammie was playing with her little gal, this kid got a big kick out of it and would giggle.
This is Robert's brother Dave, who was face-smooshing. He would pretend like he was sleeping, and his face would smoosh on her head, and she'd giggle and "wake him up". His comment on this picture on facebook was, "I. Loved. This." :)
Then I saw Chelsea holding a sweet little baby when we were getting ready to leave (we basically had to pry the little one away from her so she wouldn't end up taking her home with us). The baby was sobbing uncontrollably, and eventually Chelsea said to me, "She's looking at you!" So I picked up the baby girl and rocked her, humming in her ear. She eventually quieted, but as I put her back down, started to cry again. We told a gal who worked there, who gave the baby a blanket and bottle, and she quieted. I said one last good-bye to Dana, and with a beso and a "Te amo!" left.

We went to Ensenada for a bit, and I got some trinkets for some friends and family. I also experienced another two tacos, and a strawberry-filled churro which was oh-so-tasty.

I liked the feel of a busy little town, packed with vendors on every corner and shops in every possible space. Chelsea, Adam, Katey and I discovered many little stores. Adam bought a hammock from a vendor, and Katey introduced us to the world of tiny little bobble heads of various animals that she collects.

Before we left Ensenada, a little girl with a slew of bracelets and necklaces stopped me, asking for my business. I was suckered into it, asked how much they were, and was rewarded by a funny sight: without missing a beat, she rambled off the prices of each of the different kinds of jewelry: "4 dollars, 2 dollars, 3 dollars, 2 dollars, 4 dollars, 5 dollars..." apparently she knew her stuff. I bought a cool magnetic bracelet/necklace and felt privileged to do business with such an experienced little person.

After Ensenada came the beach. I'm generally not much of a water person, but for some reason, I LOVED the beach in Mexico! Whitney Kluber had one request for my adventures in Mexico: "Stand in ocean, where the water hits about mid-calf, raise your arms in the air, and shout, 'I love Mexico!!!' at the top of your lungs! If you can rope Adam into doing it too, that would be even better". I would never ignore a request such as that, and so it was done. And documented!

I stood for a while, feeling the sand shift under my feet, enjoying the setting sun and sounds of the ocean. After a bit, I decided that I wanted to grab a guitar and play. However, my attempts at getting the guitar were thwarted...by an unexpected visitor.

As I was getting the guitar out of the trailer, which was on the beach, a short man with chipped teeth approached me. He was selling hammocks, and tried his darndest to sell me one. Although Adam had bought a hammock in Ensenada, I had chosen to spend my money differently. Thus, I told the man sorry, and that I had no more spending money left...which was true, or so I thought. Besides, $40 was too expensive for my taste anyway. However, I found out the way that a good hammock salesman could get you to stay right where he wants you.

Wisdom from Mexico: How to retain potential hammock customers
They'll get you to hold one end of the hammock. That way, not only can you appreciate the fine handmade quality thereof, but you're also trapped: Who are you to drop their fine piece of quality handmade work in the sand?

Anyway, he did so, and pestered me for about 10 minutes, repeating his favorite English mantra: "Almost free today! Almost free!" I thought it rather funny, but after a while, I was wondering how I would get out of this one. I shot a couple of glances in Adam's direction, hoping that he'd see me and come to the rescue, but it was to no avail. Finally, I decided I needed to go...for real this time...and gently placed my end of the hammock on the sand and, smiling, still "no, gracias"-ing, backed away, guitar in hand, and walked over to the rest of the group.

To my amusement, I watched the man go over to Adam, and they started to talk. I kept my eye on them, curious to see how this would play out, seeing that Adam had bought a hammock not an hour earlier. Surprisingly, they talked for about 20 minutes. I finally walked back over to put my guitar back, and the man jumped on the opportunity. I said that I only had $20 left, and beside me, Adam muttered, "Careful. He's selling them for $10." I laughed. The man, Santiago, as Adam found out, now offered me two hammocks for a reduced price. As my will to not spend more broke down, I said, "Okay, fine...but I'd only need one IF I did buy one!"

Bottom line?

I now own a handmade Mexican hammock from Santiago himself. Turns out that Adam and Santiago had become bosom buddies over those twenty minutes. Apparently Santiago had drunk too much, and was leaving soon. He had to sell these last hammocks before he left, and also he was going to see a fighting match (??) later. Just throwing that out there.

Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures with the great Santiago. I did, however, get some other fun ones:
We left shortly after our Santiago experience, but not before a fresh mango and beautiful sunset bidding us farewell.

We returned to "our beach"--the one we'd slept on the first night there. The firey sunset was...well...words don't quite come close to describe what it was. It was beautiful, though. The sun was a bright pink, and the closer it got to the horizon, the more unreal it looked. After dark, we had a campfire on the beach and mingled. I talked to Will McAllister and found out he was a movie maker...and once again renewed my dream to be a voice-over in a movie.
That night, we all slept once more on the beach.

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